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Ebola panic masks the real threats to our collective health

Photo: CDC Global Health/flickr

News on the Ebola outbreak is often overwhelming. With over 4,000 deaths in West Africa and increasing concern in North America, it is tempting to tune out media coverage -- particularly as coverage spans from the outrageously scare-mongering to the intimidatingly technical. But even as the risk of North Americans contracting Ebola remains very small, other issues in health care have become apparent in its wake. More than any threat of Ebola, the politics of racism, care for uninsured people and hospital underfunding pose great risk to the majority of people across Canada and the U.S.  

Image: Nicolas Raymond/flickr
| October 24, 2014
Photo: Christopher Porter/flickr
| October 22, 2014
| October 6, 2014

A number is never just a number: Good jobs, bad jobs

Photo: Tania Liu/flickr


That's the number of private-sector jobs that disappeared in Canada in August 2014. (Source)


That's the number of newly self-employed Canadians in August 2014. (Source)


How much less a self-employed Canadian earns, on average, compared to a "regular employee." (Source)



Photo: AJ Batac/flickr
| September 29, 2014

It's not about old vs. young. Growing inequality is the real problem.

Photo: frugg/flickr

I turn to Maclean's if I want to know what idea conservatives will be pushing next. So when I saw a recent copy of Maclean's featuring a jarring photo of an old person's wrinkled hand with the middle finger raised, I realized the right is gearing up to make generational conflict the next big thing.

Along with the photo of the raised middle finger was a cover photo of a smiling, white-haired older woman holding a wad of $50 bills, with many more floating around her head, as if money were raining down on her. The cover headline: "OLD. RICH. SPOILED."

Photo: Sharon Drummond/flickr
| September 10, 2014

Memo to Nova Scotia's Tax and Regulatory Review: Raise taxes!

Photo: Phillip Ingham/flickr

Here's something else that would advance our cause in Nova Scotia if we could only talk about it without the pious platitudes: taxation.

As it turns out the provincial government has its Tax and Regulatory Review on the case. This could be a very useful exercise if it actually goes to the root of the matter. But will it? Or is it meant to chow down on the prevailing dogma: that the only way forward is to reduce taxes, especially business taxes, and to avoid at all cost the heresy of topping up taxes for the highest earners.

Hopefully the review committee, led by public policy expert and former Ontario cabinet minister Laurel Broten, will take account of the problems with this creed.

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